I was sitting on the black, comfy couch in my living room the other day. I was gazing out the window, enjoying the view of the fresh green leaves that grow bigger and bigger these days, as the spring awakens the trees. All of a sudden a crazy question popped up in my mind: how do I know these leaves are green? How do I know that “green” is “green” and not “read” or “yellow”?
How Do I Know That Green is Green?
“Well, d’uh, it’s green, you just see it!” You might say to me, while secretly worrying that I’ve might have gone a bit nuts or drunk 🙂
Now seriously, bear with me for a second and imagine this instead:
What if I grew up in a strange country where everything was reversed? Where my parents would have told me that the green is red? I would have learned them the other way around. What if they would have told me that “up” means “down” and “left” is “right“? That Yes means No?
I would have received an education where all these words would have the opposite meaning to the one assigned by the rest of the world.
Let’s assume that I would then go to another country, where the meaning of these words would be the “real” one. How would I feel? How would I be able to communicate with other people? I would be completely inadequate, I would think they are all crazy. And they would think I am crazy.
I would go to the Left when they would tell me to go to the Right, and I would say No when I would want to say Yes. I would end up in a mental institution for sure if I would keep holding on to the way I see the world. What could I do instead? Well…I could start learning their ways of seeing the world, I could start observing and translating.
But that would be impossible to do as long as I would be convinced of the fact that My Way to see the world is the Right one and that They are All Crazy.
If I was a missionary, I could go back to my country and tell them how lost those people are and that we should send there our best missionaries to teach them the Right Way and “save” them from being so “lost”. The poor people, they say Yes when they want to say No? How can they live this way?
Or if my country was a warrior type, we could start a war to conquer them and force them to give up their crazy ways to see the world and embrace ours. We must make them see that the “red” is ” green“!
Or, instead of all these conquering solutions, I could study and learn from them. But that would require flexibility and openness from me.
I would need to be able to admit that there might be other ways to see the world. Ways which I could embrace eventually, if I would notice they are better adjusted to the world we live in than mine.
How Do I Know That “My Truth” is “The Truth”?
Imagine now that instead of receiving the “wrong” education about obvious and measurable things as colors and directions I would have received this education about more subtle and not so obvious things, like the beliefs about work, money, and purpose in life. For example I would have learned things like:
-the only way I could live a decent and socially accepted life is to go to school, get good grades, find a good job, get married and have kids.
-or I need to work many hours doing a job I hate to earn money and make a decent living
-or I need to work from 9 to 5 (or 6 or 7 if need be), in an office, for someone else (I wrote here about my escape from the the 9 to 5)
-or I need to suffer during this lifetime to pay for my sins from a past life or to gain access to a better life after I die
-or I need to do this or that in order to obtain that….whatever!
I’m sure you get my point 🙂
It’s easy to notice we have different views on the world when someone says “left” and they show you “right”. But it’s not so obvious when it comes to the core beliefs about the key areas of our lives: work, money, family, friends, career, leisure, life purpose etc.
Recently, during a coaching session with one of my clients, when we were discussing about core values and beliefs, he told me : “It’s difficult for me to change a thought or a belief about something if I don’t see anyone doing something different. I can’t even conceive that something different can exist.”
That’s when it hit me once again, how important it is to do 2 things if you want to make the World a Better Place:
#1. work on becoming the best version of yourself first;
#2. share what you find out in the process with the world;
Inspire those who are now caught up on a level where they can’t even conceive that something else even exists! In order to do that you don’t necessarily need to start a blog or write a book if don’t feel like doing this.
You already inspire the ones close to you by being You, by honoring who You are in your every day life.
We all do that, weather we realize it or not: we all inspire each other with our mere presence and with our actions.
One of the forms of feed-back I most often receive from my readers is this one:
“Keep writing, Keep Inspiring!”
It feels my heart with warmth, and gratitude and it gives me the confirmation every writer needs from time to time when self doubt creeps in: this means I am on the right track.
That I do something of value, that I actually do Make the World a Better Place by working on myself, by being who I truly am every single day, and by sharing my experience. One small step at a time.
And You are doing the same, in your own way, even if You don’t even realize it.
Thank your for being Yourself and for sharing your path with me, in whatever way you choose to do that.
With all my love,
PS: the header image is a photo found on bemagazine.com, credits to http://kristieenriquez.tumblr.com